Strategy for conservation of the far eastern leopard in Russia
In the Far Eastern part of Russia the leopard was always overshadowed by its powerful cousin, the tiger, and, in spite of its critical situation, was largely ignored by society and conservation agencies. From the beginning the number of leopards and the area of their natural habitat were much smaller than that of the tigers, and, while over the past 50 years the number of tigers has grown and its natural habitat is being restored, the leopard population has been steadily shrinking, along with the area in which it can be found. At present, the number of leopards is 10-15 times lower than that of the tiger, and its natural habitat is just a small fraction of that of its feline relative. Over the past 20 years the natural habitat of the leopard has been reduced almost by half. The last refuge of the Far Eastern leopard in Russia is the extreme southern part of the Far East Primorski Krai (Maritime Territory), an area which may be integrated into large-scale economic development projects. All of this requires that the process of saving the leopard and its natural habitat be given special consideration.